Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Monday said the government has initiated action to attach properties worth over Rs.9,700 crore in cases of  illegal mining of granite in the state and secure early conviction of the accused.

"Granite valued at Rs.4,000 crore, that was found to have been illegally mined, is being confiscated. In cases where granite was mined and sold off illegally, action is being pursued for attachment of properties equivalent to about Rs.9,783 crore," Jayalalithaa said.

The government is also trying to secure "an early conviction for the culprits", the chief minister said while inaugurating a conference of district collectors and police officers here.  

The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) government began the crackdown on illegal granite quarries in the Madurai region after a report by former Madurai district collector U. Sahayam estimated a loss of around Rs.16,000 crore due to illegal granite mining in the district.
Union Minister M.K. Alagiri's son Durai Dayanidhi is one of the accused in the case. Olympus Granite, in which Dayanidhi was a director, is among the firms that came under the government scanner for illegal quarrying.

On Sep 15, vigilance officials searched 34 places in Tamil Nadu after filing cases against two Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers and a group of state officials for irregularities in quarrying.

The directorate of vigilance and anti-corruption (DVAC) conducted the raids following a detailed inquiry into large-scale irregularities in granite quarrying in Madurai district over the past several years.

On a series of land grab cases filed by police after the AIADMK government came to power 19 months ago, Jayalalithaa said, "I am happy to inform you that so far 1,627 cases have been registered and properties worth Rs.835.94 crore have been returned to the rightful owners."

Referring to 'Vision Tamil Nadu 2023' unveiled by her this March, Jayalalithaa urged officials to convert the targets into reality by providing "exemplary governance". She urged district collectors and superintendents of police to take recourse to preventive sections of law to bring down crime incidents.

Jayalalithaa said that free distribution of milch breed of cows, goats and sheep among the poor rural households was a priority as it would ensure a white revolution in the state.

"The key strategy in the primary sector is a mixed farming system comprising modern agricultural operations; healthy and productive live-stock and sustainable fish farming; and all these put together will enhance the income level of rural households in a sustainable manner," she added.

Urging the district collectors to guide rural and urban local bodies in identification of civic projects, Jayalalithaa said such schemes would be privatized to ensure speedy execution.


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